In the pink

I rescued this succulent (Desert rose - echeveria gibbiflora) flower just before we got our first freeze. Figured it was a great specimen for much experimenting in my studio.


This is a 17 image stack. I purposely only focused on select water droplets, letting the rest of the flower be slightly out of focus. The background is pink tissue paper with tiny lights behind the paper to create, hopefully, a more interesting backdrop.
In post processing, I cropped to 3:2 and added a curves adjustment layer to lighten the entire photo.
In the first image I experimented with a selective noise reduction, applied just to the background, The second image has the original with no noise reduction.
I’m wondering if anyone has experience with “selective noise reduction?” Does this work? Is the original more appealing? Or not? Does it make a difference?

Nikon D7200, f/8, 1/8sec., iso 640 @100mm with tripod and external flash.
Any and all comments, suggestions and thoughts are welcome. Thanks.

Beautiful work. Great idea to come up with the BG. At normal viewing distance, I don’t think the NR makes much of a difference, but if one is a pixel peeper it is a nice improvement.

Just beautiful, Linda. Excellent capture, with a nice complimentary BG which I think you managed very well with whatever lighting you had behind it. So glad you saved this from the freeze, otherwise I wouldn’t be enjoying this image. I agree with Michael, I can’t tell the difference. Great shot!

Thank you @Michael_Loweand @Shirley_Freeman, I’m glad you like and appreciate your kind encouraging words.

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Linda: Marvelous shot and a fine effort rewarded. The drops are really nicely rendered. At this size I don’t perceive any appreciable difference in the presentations. Most excellent. >=))>

Thanks @Bill_Fach, appreciate your kind thoughts and comments.

Linda, this is a great looking picture. The drops and the shape of the plant are outstanding. When I go to the large view and try to arrow back and forth, I don’t see any changes (either the NPN system is having a problem or there’s no discernible difference between the two at NPN sizes/resolution).